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A moment of truth

· Europe searches for a strategy as the number of migrants and refugee fleeing conflict increases ·

“Here in Kos is where Europe begins, just one step away from the war. We have a problem in Europe. We are facing a moment of truth in European history. We can succeed jointly and united, or we can fail each in our own way, in our own country, on our own islands

."Today the Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, spoke about the shocking photos which circled the globe of the body of a Syrian boy who was carried away by the sea to the Greek coast of Kos. Words which come at a crucial time when the number of refugees to be relocated could soon reach 200,000 according to UNHCR. The encouraging news was however released yesterday that France and Germany reached an agreement. French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said that they support the establishment of a permanent and mandatory quotas for the redistribution of migrants with the right to protection as asylum seekers. “The European Union must act decisively and in accordance with its values”, they stated. Merkel and Hollande want to proceed in a clear way: sharing the commitment to humanitarian aid with mandatory percentages (and sanctions for those who refuse to comply), asylum reforms and the Dublin regulation (convention signed in 2013 stating that those who flee wars must ask for asylum in the country where they arrive).

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 14, 2018

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